ASH Ireland welcomes the passage of standardised packaging legislation through the Oireachtas

ASH Ireland today welcomed the passage of the standardised packaging legislation through the Oireachtas.  This is vitally important health legislation and we wish to compliment Minister James Reilly and all members of the Oireachtas who dealt with this important legislation with such efficiency and determination.  It is expected that the Bill will be signed into law later this month.

Dr Ross Morgan said today, “The Government and Oireachtas members are to be complimented on their determination in pushing ahead with this standardised packaging legislation, despite the threats from the Tobacco Industry.  We would also expect that should the industry mount a legal challenge on any aspect of this health legislation it will be vigorously contested.  Similar legislation has proven to be entirely positive in Australia with early indications of reduced smoking prevalence and scientific evidence to show that young people find standardised pack less attractive.” 

ASH Ireland is firmly of the view that the successful implementation of this legislation here in Ireland will set the scene for others to follow in Europe as was the case with the workplace smoking legislation some 11 years ago. 

All of us must recognise that over 5,200 people die from the effects of smoking in this country each year and we spend well over €1 billion annually treating tobacco relating disease.  Theas are dreadful statistics which we must tackle with every means at our disposal and legislative change is a key part of this.

Dr Morgan concluded by saying, “in recent weeks it emerged that some legal companies were advising the tobacco industry and various elements of our health services. This is an apparent conflict of interest which must be examined further and it seems clear that the status quo in this area is entirely unsatisfactory”

ENDS

For contact: ASH Ireland:  0818-305055

Wally Young, Young Communications:  087-2471520